Around-Oz: Living the Dream!


Smoko - Mallacoota Foreshore Reserve
Betka Beach - North Coast - Victoria


OK, it's a long way in from the highway, but what the heck, as this spot is pure magic! There are only seven waterfront parking bays, so forget it unless you plan to arrive before 9AM on weekends. Australia is just such a wonderful place and just when you think, hey this is as good as it gets, along comes a spot like this one! It's called the Mallacoota Foreshore Reserve even though it's a few kilometres out of town. It's actually just south of Betka River.


 
Interesting coloured rocks
One of our camping companions
 

At present the only no camping signs are across the road at a tiny launching ramp and there are lots of little secluded bays hidden away. We had one overnight motorhome and one whizz bang for company and zero hassles. The two bays on the left of the parking area were sort of made for motorhomes and you can even put your awning up without upsetting anyone as you have a garden on either side. We suggest you do this only during the day though as it is a dead giveaway that you are free camping if the ranger rocks in at night. The five other waterfront sites aren't really big enough for even a Coaster, however there is plenty of parking beside the road for long rigs - about six. The only drawback is you miss the lovely early morning views.

Excellent tables right on the waters edge, brick flushing toilets with town water and very clean and FREE gas BBQ's. It's rather odd having town water on a dirt road that goes off to nowhere, and so far from town. The lifesavers have just started operating out here and so they will probably have a club house before long. No tap for filing tanks, but you could use the toilet sink if you have 30 metres of hose plus a worm drive hose fitting. Otherwise get the buckets out folks!


 
The inlet from the toilets at mid tide
 
Yes, this is right in front of you!
 

Swimming wise you can have excellent still water right in front of you, or after a quick wade across the inlet you have miles of empty surf beach which is patrolled on weekends. Walking wise it is excellent. If you have time drive further down the road till you reach the dirt and have a peek at Quarry Beach - don't take a trailer in though, and then the prettiest beach of them all at Secret Beach with its intriguing cave. Well worth the dusty trip out there and OK with 2WD and most motorhomes if you take it easy.

 
The excellent signage at the roundabout at Malacoota.
 
Acres of beach at low tide
 

So in summing up it seems OK to overnight here at present as we certainly weren't hassled. Of course the other alternative is to pop back away from the beach overnight and return at first light - a good tactic that keeps us all out of the limelight and seems to upset no one. The nearest shops are way back in Mallacoota so there are no photos looking out the back at delicious cakes! To find Mallacoota itself just turn off the Princes Highway at Genoa. At the roundabout take the Airport road for 3.3 kms. Doggies seem to be welcome too! Please don't miss this magic spot - absolutely recommended.

Bob & Chrissy Eustace

HEMA 47 D13

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